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Patterns in Neotropical Collembola Diversity and Morphology along an Elevation Gradient

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Title: Patterns in Neotropical Collembola Diversity and Morphology along an Elevation Gradient
Author: Pare, Kate
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Smith, M. Alex
Abstract: I studied biogeographical patterns in Neotropical Collembola along an elevation gradient, focusing on morphology and diversity. My first study examined differences in body size, appendage length and sensory structures. All measured structures increased in length or size with elevation. However, intraspecific morphology and morphospecies richness did not significantly change across elevation, suggesting the observed patterns in morphology were influenced by changes in community composition. My second study examined elevation – diversity patterns using both morphological and molecular diversity estimates. There were no relationships between elevation and diversity estimates when all Collembola were analyzed; however, some diversity patterns were observed when Collembola orders were analyzed individually. My findings suggest that microhabitats may shelter Collembola from the environmental changes that occur along this elevation gradient. Overall, these results suggest that the environmental factors that change along elevation have a stronger influence on morphology compared to morphological or molecular estimates of diversity.
Date: 2015-09
Rights: Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada

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Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada